Sunday, June 20, 2010

Making yourself a change...

A lot of people in life talk about how hard some things are in their lives, and with all due respect those things are probably pretty difficult. Life is mostly a choice though, and to prove that today is Karl.

(Canon EOS5D Mark II, 160ISO, Canon EF24-70F2.8@42mm. 1/80th@F7.1. Canon 580EX Speedlight zoomed to 70mm behind the panel pointed into the wall set to 1/4 fired by pocket wizard. Canon 580EX Speedlight zoomed to 105mm to camera right about 10 feet, set to 1/32nd power to illuminate the controls on the front of the panel fired by pocket wizard)

Karl is 51 and has decided to go back to school to learn Aviation Technology. He found the program through Careerbuilder wanted to feature him in their print publication showing that anyone can make a change in their life, and they can help. It just goes to show that no matter where you are in life, you can always make a change to do what is right for yourself. If you want to learn a skill, take a class. If you've dreamed of doing something, try it. You never know what could happen.

(Canon EOS5D Mark II, 200ISO, Canon EF100F2.8Macro, 1/80th@F6.3. Single 580EX Speedlight set to 1/2 power fired by pocket wizard through a FotoRosa 16"Softbox above right of the camera. Canon 580EX Speedlight zoomed to 70mm set to 1/8th set on the table about 10 feet behind Karl fired by pocket wizard pointed into the wall for a little background fill.)

In these photos Karl is rebuilding the Fuel valve training console at the Aviation Institute of Maintenance here in Indianapolis. They had everything in this hangar for students to learn on. Engines, planes, cookies, gasoline..... lots of great stuff. Very similar to the Vincennes Aviation Technology Center at the Indianapolis Airport. Another great place to learn aviation. This is definitely a great story of chasing a dream though. No, it may not be chasing a girl across the world to fall in love, or winning the lottery, or even eating that 60oz steak in order to get it for free. But it's being proactive in one's life. There's not enough of that in the world these days. More Soon.

(Canon EOS5D Mark II, 200ISO, Canon EF100F2.8Macro, 1/80th@F6.3. Canon 580EX Speedlight shot into the wall behind the panel at 1/4th power zoomed to 70mm fired by pocket wizard. Canon 580EX Speedlight set to 1/8th power on the table about 6 feet to the left of Karl set to 1/16th power fired by pocket wizard to shed a little light on the control equipment.)

On a side note, I'd also like to wish all the dads out there a Happy Fathers day. I don't know where I'd be without my Dad.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

From inside the paint...

Or as close as you can be to being inside the paint while still being a spectator anyway... One week a year I am assigned to shoot sports like I used to at Purdue. One week a year, I get to sit on the sidelines once again and attempt to provide all of the official imagery for the Indiana High School All-Stars basketball teams here in Indianapolis. It's essentially 6 basketball games that have to be shot in as high of quality, and resolution as possible for glossy commercial reproduction. That can be no easy task when shooting in a high school gym, as my good friend Michael Guio learned last week while accompanying me to the Rushville Indiana exhibition game.

(Canon 1D Mark II, 500ISO, Canon EF300mmF2.8IS, 1/200th@F4. Two Dynalight Uni400JR heads set to half power aimed down at the top of the key of the basket I'm sitting under set to 1/2 power fired by pocket wizards)

Anyone who knows me just a little knows that I prefer to shoot my Nikon equipment when it comes to shooting sports. It's what I've shot the most sports on, and I know what it's capable of when shooting things like basketball, soccer, swimming, tennis, football, roller derby or anything else that moves. This year though I decided to do as the newspaper asks and shoot using their equipment. The main reason for this is that if I get hit by a basketball player and break the lens right off of my camera I'M the one paying to fix it, not them because they provide me gear that I wasn't using. Makes sense sort of, except I feel like I'd have done a better job with my own gear. Otherwise though, I didn't think I did too bad for someone who shoots basketball one week a year.

(Canon EOS1D Mark IIn, 100ISO, Canon EF 70-200F2.8IS@70mm, 1/250th@F4. Lit using the in house Pacers lights at Conseco fired via pocket wizard.)

Despite the fact that the days are incredibly long during this week, I do look forward to them every year. I wasn't feeling very well during Conseco series, but I pulled through. Shooting sports spoils me quite a bit though, as watching any sport any other way than on the field or court, is just not good enough. Photographers sit closer than the coaches in some cases. It's also a nice treat to shoot along side of some of the people that I've always looked up to as sports shooters since that's their job all the time. People like Matt Kryger, Tom Campbell from Purdue, Mike Conroy and AJ Mast. I have a great deal of respect for these guys becuae they've shot better sports images with their eyes closed than I'd even be able to stage on my own.

(Canon EOS1D Mark II, 400ISO, CanonEF300mmF2.8IS, 1/250th@F4. Two Dynalight UNI400JR;s about 20 feet above the court in the stands aimed at the top of the key of the basket that I'm sitting under set to 1/2 power fired by pocket wizards.)

The thing I Like about shooting sports, is the same thing that I like about shooting jewelery; it's tough. You either get something or you don't. In sports you can't dwell on it though, you just have to keep shooting in sports. I've actually been known to put tape over the back LCD on my camera so I don't spend more time looking at the images than shooting them. Yea sometimes it's nice to be able to eliminated out of focus images, or images without the ball in them but like I said earlier; you either got it or you didn't in sports.

(Canon EOS1D Mark IIn, 100ISO, Canon EF 70-200F2.8IS@153mm, 1/250th@F4. Lit using the in house Pacers lights at Conseco fired via pocket wizard.)

The one down side to this assignment is also the greatest part. My assignment isn't one player, it's the Indiana team. That means the Introductions, the Awards winners, and game action from every player. It's not just about number 1, number 8 or any other individual. Yes I absolutely need photos of Mr. and Miss. Basketball, but ALL the team is important. It's nice because I can shoot anything I like. It's not as nice because I have to make sure anything I shoot is sharp and lit. It's an incredibly stressful week, but I'm already looking forward to next year. Check out all the photos for download by the teams and families here. More Soon.

(Canon EOS1D Mark IIn, 800ISO, CanonEF70-200F2.8IS@70mm, 1/125th@F4)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tourist Shooting...

Every now and then I'm given an opportunity to shoot like a tourist. By that I mean, I am given an assignment at a location and am told just to wander around and take photos of things. Just like a tourist. Last week I had scheduled to visit the IMA, right here in Indianapolis Indiana.

These kinds of assignments are nice because it's exactly as I mentioned earlier; I just walk around and shoot things, looking for the artsy stuff that show off the place that I'm at. The photo below shows a lot of the foliage that the IMA has to offer. The amount of Foliage is one of my favorite things about the IMA, as I like trees, grass, flowers, plants, and the like. Not that I could identify them, or that I grow them at home necessarily; I just like to see and smell them while they are in a large herd.

I like to call this style, shooting like a tourist, as the venue's are usually pretty beautiful and anybody with a cell phone camera could take a photo that's probably going to be pretty awesome. As I was there in tourist fashion I wish I'd have been able to visit my friend Kate, who works there as the New Media Manager. Unfortunately there wasn't time to see her, and I ended up wandering the gardens alone chasing butterflies as if they were cars. These places need photos too though, just like sugar cubes, cardboard boxes, or tiny screws. People love going to these places because they aren't like normal. They aren't the inside of a cubicle, they aren't the back of a pickup truck,and they most certainly aren't cutting the grass.

Overall it was a nice day to wander around. Take a bit of a departure from doing the little logistical paperwork things that fill up the down times in the profession as a photographer. It was nice to go and do something mindless, nice to take time to smell the flowers, if you will. More Soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

We're here...

Well. Today is the first in a long list of milestones. No, it isn't the anniversary of the moon landing, no it isn't my birthday today, nor is it the day Cheeto's were invented. It's not the anniversary of the first Nikon camera or Nikkor Lens. Not a Canon anniversary either. It's not the anniversary of TTL, and it's not the date that I have finally become a Millionaire Thousand-aire. No. Today however IS the 1 year birthday: of the blog.

(Image courtesy of Google Images)

Since 1 year ago, I've attempted to put up at least 1 post every week, if not 2. Some weeks are more successful than others, and sometimes I've just been too busy doing this thing that I love so much to put up a little something on the blog. Doesn't mean I've forgotten it, after all I wasn't sure I'd even make it a year when I started this little project. However, even the modest readership of this blog has kept it going and I'd like to thank everyone that has actually continued to read for the last year. Speaking of which, How many people do read the blog?

In the last year the blog has received almost 3,000 Absolute unique visitors from 56 countries. This doesn't count RSS readership, which I know there are a few, but for whatever reason Google analytics doesn't track Google Reader... What does this all mean? That I'm going to have to learn to write a little better because obviously people have been reading this. More Importantly, you seem to keep reading it.

The greatest moment in my photography thus far, was last month at the Purdue Grand Prix. Someone I didn't know stopped me at the race to talk about my blog, and my work. It was an amazing experience, and it was great to know that people like my work. Photographer take photos for the photos to be seen. Thank you everyone, who enjoys looking at my work; and reading the stories on the blog that go with them. More Soon.